16 Dec Joyful Expectation | December 16
But they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. (Isaiah 40:31)
The summer right after you graduate and before you go to college is probably one of the most interesting transition times of life. You feel like you have all this freedom because you are done with high school, yet you still are living at home abiding by your parents’ rules and expectations. At the start of the summer, all I wanted to do was get to school. I go to the University of Minnesota, and I was so ready to start my new life there. As the summer went on, I was still excited, but the reality of leaving and what that meant was really starting to hit me. Don’t get me wrong, at some moments I was ready to leave, but I also knew that when I left it would never be exactly the same.
My home will always be my home, but it won’t be where I make all my new memories, which made me sad. The thought of not getting to see and be with my brothers as they grow up is also something that is super hard for me. It was during this whole complicated time that I really needed to put my full trust and faith in God. I prayed a lot and tried to read scripture every week. Coming to college I still didn’t really know what God’s plan was for me; I still don’t! Not knowing is so uncomfortable for me, so I knew I had to find people to journey with me. One of the things I was nervous about was finding a faith community and people that would support me in my relationship with Christ. I prayed that God would provide me with someone that I could trust to go with me to the different campus ministries.
He not only answered that prayer, but he also found me one of my best friends. After finding a campus ministry that I liked, I went full in and felt closer to God than I ever have in my life. Just like with everything that’s good in your life, Satan takes it and tries to use it against you. As I navigate being a part of this new ministry during this new phase of my life, it’s challenging. In high school I was a part of the same church as my parents, I had faith leaders and mentors in the church, I had experiences that I looked forward to at church each year. And now I have to figure out and make decisions – even decisions about faith – apart from all of that. That can be hard. Even though I am surrounded and loved by my close friends, campus ministry group, and my family I can still feel pretty alone. I have even felt frustrated at God because I felt like He is using this gift of a new faith community to awaken me to questions about what I am doing and what I believe.
I still haven’t figured it all out, but I also know that God has a plan and maybe I just have to wait and see. Waiting is really hard for me because I like to know things right away. I also try to plan out everything in my life and make every decision overly complicated, which doesn’t help. This new season of my life has definitely shown me that letting go and letting God is probably one of the most difficult things to do in life. Every day I pray and read scripture and try to live in the moment so that I don’t miss anything God has to tell or show me. By no means do I have it all figured out now, but that is the beauty of it, I don’t have to. God’s plan is greater than anything I could ever come up with. It’s not going to be easy all the time, but whatever He has for me is journeying towards.
by Josie Mueller
This post is part of a series of Advent Reflections – “Joyful Expectation”
Learn more about the series at gslcwi.com/advent